Get the Picture?
our score: 2.0 out of 5.0
Since their debut
single, "Walking on the Sun," Smash Mouth have pigeonholed
themselves as a "fun in the sun" kind of group. This
first attempt gained them quite a bit of a following throughout
the frat-rock audience. But it wasn't until the release of singles
like the now-legendary (for all the wrong reasons) "All Star"
and their go at The Monkees' classic "I'm a Believer"
on the Shrek soundtrack that the band truly realized
and embraced who their core audience is: the younger pre-teen
to with this state of mind, Get the Picture isn't all
that bad. But it's still pretty bad. You see, after three major
releases, the band hasn't gone anywhere. They're still doing the
fun-in-the-sun / southern California surf-rock kind of thing;
and they're still not doing it very well.
Given the recent
resurgence of 60's and 70's style rock from bands like The Thrills
and Cato Salsa Experience, it's become only more apparent just
how mediocre Smash Mouth really is. Then again, it's tough to
say the band has fallen into mediocrity as they've been hovering
around it for some time now - hit singles aside.
As for Get the
Picture? there really isn't all that much to get. With lyrics
like "If we all drive 25 we're getting nowhere / If we all
drive 75 we're getting there faster / If we all drive 105 we'll
get to heaven on time" from "105" the band doesn't
do much to engage the listener. Get it straight guys: you can
write simple lyrics, but it helps your case if they have some
sort of destination.
abound this album, but if that sort of thing isn't a problem for
you, there's always the not-that-impressive musicianship. Again,
Smash Mouth are following their same tired formula of laid-back
surf rock with cheesy organ synths that are supposed to be reminds
us of the simplicity 60's psychedelia. The bigger problem though
is the fact that the songs just really don't have the soul
to make you care. Rather than exist as a fun trip to simpler times
(both musically and socially), Get the Picture sounds
formulaic and forced. Maybe it's due to lead singer Steve Harwell's
constant angry growl, I don't know.
What I do know is
that above all, the feeling I get when listening to Get the
Picture is a feeling of frustration. Get the Picture
proves once and for all that Smash Mouth best exist as a corporate
band destined for commercials and movie soundtracks, and if someone
wants to buy the albums that hold the filler making up the rest
of their catalog, good for them. As for myself, I've tried to
steer clear of this band but decided to give them a chance this
I should have
stuck to my guns.
liked Get the Picture?...
2. Always Gets Her Way
3. You Are My Number One
4. Whole Lotta Love
5. Space Man
7. Looking for a Wall
8. Seventh Grade Dance
11. New Planet
12. You Are My Number One (Radio Remix)